Teacher, Jacqui Innes from Russell Street School describes how students individual e-portfolios and the class blog serve different purposes but work in conjunction with each other. She explains the purpose of each, the structure of posts, and how students are scaffolded into making these. She comments on how engagement with parents and the wider community has enhanced communication and student learning.
In my class of Year 4 and 5 students, I’ve got 29 students in my class and each of them have their own e-portfolio and we also have a class blog. And, we blend the purpose of both of those - they serve different purposes but they work in conjunction with each other.
The students’ e-portfolios are something that they’ve had coming through the school if they’ve come from previously being in digitally enhanced classrooms. The main purpose of it is it’s a way of them sharing their learning with others, with their families, with myself, with the wider community, and anyone that we connect with in the big wide world.
The structure of it is that posts that they share on their e-portfolio have criteria and the learning intention is clear. And, it’s a way of them sharing where they’re at in their learning and gives them a way to reflect on how they’re going, and what they’re aiming to get better at. It gives me a way of giving them direct feedback and for their parents the same. Parents at anytime, anywhere can see what their child is doing at school, how they’re going with their learning, what they’re trying to get better at. The advantage for many parents, if they’re working, they can do that. Conversations can carry on at home, outside of school - so learning isn’t just happening in the four walls of the classroom in between the hours of nine and three.
And recently, I’ve noticed we’ve been really focusing on adding lot more detail into discussing the learning, really reflecting on the learning that has happened. For example, kids at the moment are doing something called ‘seed to table’ which is cooking, gardening, and science. They’ve really been trying to explain the process they’ve been going through but also the learning for them and what they’re aiming to get better at. And, from adding that extra detail we’ve noticed that they’re getting more feedback from home - grandparents, parents, from also other people that they connect with.
They took part in something through Edublogs where they took part in a blogging challenge and made some connections with other kids from schools around the world that use Edublogs. And, they’ve been getting some feedback which is quite exciting when they actually realise that there are other people out there that come to their blog, their e-portfolio.
Through our class blog all their portfolios are linked from our class blog, which is linked from our school website so people that come browsing through actually can see the learning that they’re up to.